Nothing to me was ever worse than working for a boss that had no idea (or care) about what I did or how I did it.  Bosses like that always left me a little empty and rarely wanting to go the extra mile for them.

Conversely, leaders who were engaged with what was going on with me and the work I did had a little more “street cred”  (for definition go here) and I would do more than expected because the care was there.

As a leader, I’ve found that having “street cred” doesn’t mean that I just talk the talk, I walk it.   It binds the team and I together so we all get more done.

Here are 7 easy ways that I’ve found help build a little “street cred” with the team:

1.  Walk around.  Schedule an hour a day to do nothing but walk around and get to know your team.  I know we’re busy but you can’t communicate the strategic if you’re too wrapped up in the tactical.

2.  Have their back.  Right or wrong, be on your team’s team.  No one can call your sister fat but you.  If there’s a little corrective action that needs to be taken, no one should do it but you (in private).

3.  Be first to get dirty.  Roll the sleeves up and jump in to whatever is going on.  If you want others to follow, you have to go first.

4.  Be truthful.  Authenticity counts.  Honesty counts.  If you don’t know, let them know.  But when you do know, let them what you know when you know.

5.  Have a 360 degree view.  Know how people, work, and processes go together and help the team know the same.

6.  Be interested.  If it’s important to your team members, it should be important to you.

7.  Laugh at your mistakes.  If you can do it, others can laugh at their own as well.  It shows confidence, eases the tension and makes the environment a little better.

Having “street cred” doesn’t solve every leadership problem but it does help in keeping the problems to a minimum.  Why?  Because you’re all in it together.

Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk and get some “street cred!”   Everyone benefits!

For more information on Chip, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment